“What should I eat before a race? One of the most common questions I’m asked by triathletes. My answer is always a return question “What do you normally eat before you go training?” I have one golden rule for endurance racing and every time I deviate from it I come unstuck: never try anything new on race day ….. ever.
3 Nutrition Tips:
1. Feed your body what it’s used to.
The biggest mistake on race morning is to eat something that you have never tried before. It’s a recipe for disaster. Stick to what you would normally eat before you go training, as this is what your stomach is accustomed to. Aim to get up and eat a few hours before the race start to let the food settle.
2. Don’t try something new on race day simply because someone faster said so, or a poster told you to.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? But it is easy to fall into this trap when you see someone advertising an amazing new energy product or hear what last year’s winner eats in the race.It can be a good idea to limit what goes into your stomach over the final part of the bike ride to let it settle before heading off onto the run. Cramming too much food or drink right at the end of the bike leg can sometimes cause an upset stomach when you change to the run.
3. Practice makes perfect.
Having the right nutrition plan can make big differences to your race outcome. The most important thing is to stay hydrated and get a steady supply of energy in the body. Energy drinks, gels, food? There is no right or wrong way to do this; it’s personal preference. Once you have chosen your preferred method, then it’s time to practice, practice, practice until it’s second nature. Do a race simulation or hard bike/run brick in training each week, use trial and error to find out what’s comfortable and works for you.
RACE SPECIFIC TIP:
Find out what brands of drink and food are going to be supplied on the run leg during the race. Get some prior to race day and trial it in training. The alternative is to stick to water on the run and carry some form of your own energy in gels, tablets or bars.